High drama as two camps in Safa elections go face to face

2009-09-26 13:30

TWO court cases plus three arbitrations a day before the annual general meeting (AGM) were just further proof of how highly contested and intense yesterday’s South African Football Association (Safa) elections were.

Add the fact that the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) sent a high-powered two-man delegation as observers and you get the picture.

Following a request from one of the parties, Fifa sent highly respected English Football Association chairman Sir Geoff Thompson, who is one of Fifa’s vice-presidents, and their development officer for Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, to monitors the elections.

To add to the drama, a decision on the eligibility of the two front-runners for the Safa president’s ­position, Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan, was only to be taken yesterday, just before the elections.

The two camps came with different legal opinions to the plenary ­national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Friday.

The Khoza camp claimed that Jordaan was not eligible to stand as he was not a member of Safa and was also an employee of the organisation and thus could not stand for an elected position.

Jordaan’s Football Transformation Forum (FTF) claimed that Khoza was not eligible because of a clause in the Safa constitution that states that the third vice-president will be the Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman, “who shall not be eligible to hold any other ­executive office within the ­association”.

The FTF also said he was not an elected member of the executive as his position had come about via his being the PSL chairman, whose current term runs up until 2012.

The NEC on Friday decided that the two varying legal opinions would be given to the electoral officer who was to be chosen at yesterday’s AGM for a decision that was “final and binding”.

On Friday Mazwi Mkhize, the Safa eThekwini vice-president who has said publicly that he supports Khoza, took his own organisation to court, challenging his suspension for allegedly insulting a woman executive member of the region. He is also challenging his exclusion from the delegates’ list for yesterday’s AGM.

The delegates nominated by Safa eThekwini were Eric Smith, Nkosinathi Ngcobo and Elvis Mdakane.

Mkhize wanted his suspension to be lifted and his name to replace that of Smith on the delegates’ list. It seems the two parties have a different understanding of the court ruling, as Safa eThekwini maintained that the request had been dismissed by the court with costs and the first matter was scheduled to be heard at a later date.

But Mkhize told City Press on Friday that he had won the case, and said he was already on his way to the AGM.


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